Pro et contra

The tumultuous events that we were going through in the last few days have rather shaken the student population. Passions have stirred up and the division occurred among the students and the professors, as well as among the students themselves, and all this over the most controversial individual these days, the Chancellor of the BU.

At the very beginning of the Protest, when they were formulated, the demands for the dismissal of the Chancellor and the Student Vice-chancellor seemed trivial, and even unnecessary, because we were all aware that the positions of those we are driving away would be assumed by even worse characters. In time, these demands surpassed their initial meaning and became the symbol of our possibility to make changes in our own house. Therefore, nobody was surprised with our persistence in these demands. Two weeks ago, when the possible resignation of the Chancellor seemed completely inconceivable, the Council of the Deans suggested that the Chancellor should be ignored, that is, that the parallel University (in Serbian language) should be formed, which would be a way out of the stalemate position the University found itself in. But, by this, our demands would come down to the fulfillment of the demands of the "Zajedno" coalition, and we would become their instruments. This was a glove in the face of the Student Protest, which was responded to in the same manner. The Deans were proclaimed traitors, and all their further activities were interpreted as pressure on the students to go back to classes. After the still suspicious resignation, and the individual decisions of the students about their actions, we found ourselves in the situation we are now facing.

On the other side, the situation seemed extremely unusual. Because of such an individual, such as this Chancellor of ours, who loves his fascist students more than anything, but cannot look in their eyes, the entire University has not been working for almost a month. From that point of view, the whole idea about ignoring the Chancellor seemed pretty reasonable and characteristic to our people (you know, the wiser one gives up...) The Council of the Deans and the University Assembly were behind this decision, and were, in a way, a guarantee to us.

After the Chancellor had resigned, it was decided for the Protest to continue until this resignation has been verified. Now we faced the second problem. The continuation of the Protest asked for an urgent convocation of the Council session, and the verification of the resignations, and thus decreased the space for manoeuvres to the University part of the Council. Namely, the convocation of this session of the Council was filled with procedural irregularities. The session was convoked by the acting Chancellor instead of the old President of the Council who is authorized to do so. The same acting Chancellor proposed the agenda, although he wasn't entitled to this either. The customary first item wasn't on the agenda - the adoption of the record from the previous session (remember, that's the one on which both the students and the Chancellor were supported), nor was the one about starting the procedure for the election of the new Chancellor (perhaps the Council will not choose one anymore?).

Besides all this, the demand for the replacement of Professor Kuburovic was put on the agenda, although the request for ceasing the procedure for his dismissal was unanimously adopted previously. The members of the Council intended to insist on leaving this item out of the agenda and to insist that academician Kurepa from the School of Physics be elected President of the Council, as the only present member of the Council who is at the same time member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts. However, because of the demand for the verification of the resignations, urged by us, and which must "be passed" at this session, the members of the Council from the University will not be able to insist on all those other issues.

At the end a question remains: were we the more reasonable and rational forces? Was it worth all the time and energy for the replacement of this Chancellor, which won't improve the University affairs by much? Would it be better if we had saved our strength for the time that is to come? A new Law on the University is being mentioned, one that will be urgently adopted, and which will alter the election procedure for the Chancellor's position. The dismissals of the Mangers of the Institutes that supported us are also being mentioned. BK Telekom was limited to the area of Belgrade and Novi Sad as of yesterday. The Republic elections are ahead of us. This Protest was a giant step to the democratic society and to the legal state. But, just a first step.


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